Pubs and restaurants in Lincolnshire are being encouraged to develop more accommodation as part of an initiative to make more rooms available to visitors.
Run by the county council and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Greater Lincolnshire Pub Development Project sets out to encourage pubs across the area to add rooms or alternative accommodation to their establishment to support rural tourism.
A free toolkit has also been developed and two free workshops are being held, which include practical advice for anyone thinking about developing accommodation within a pub, restaurant or similar establishment.
“Pubs have traditionally been the heart of communities and have played a vital part in rural life. This scheme supports our growing visitor economy by providing more high-quality accommodation, and it also helps breathe life into many of our pubs and helps them diversify,” said Chris Baron, tourism lead on the LEP Board.
“Over the last decade we have seen a rapid decline in the number of pubs – many of them struggling to survive in rural communities. We wanted to explore the possibility of encouraging pubs to widen their offer with good quality accommodation, helping sustain their role in the heart of the community and boosting tourism.”
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for Economy and Place, added: “Partners from all areas across Greater Lincolnshire are working together to develop a proposal for a tourism sector deal. Hospitality businesses including pubs are vital in driving economic growth through job creation and attracting residents and visitors to an area to spend their money.
“Beyond this they play such an important role in our communities which can be so important to our mental health and community cohesion, especially in rural areas.”
A rural pubs audit has taken place, which has led to Business Lincolnshire producing a helpful pub accommodation development guide containing practical advice on planning and the development process.
Support will also be rolled out through workshops, e-learning tools and the support of Business Growth Hub Advisors.